Why Muslims Should Jihad (Struggle) Against Extremism & Terrorism?

It has come to my attention that Muslims need to Jihad (struggle) against extremism & terrorism in a much more vocal and progressive way. Why you may ask, well...let's look at the rise of extremism from both the right wing Christian and Jewish Extremists and the right wing Islamic extremists. Not just Muslims, but all people need to Jihad (struggle) against these Extremist Groups because they are a danger to all of us. They say and do things that are contrary to all of our faiths! Where in mainstream traditional Islam, Christianity and Judaism does it say to say or do the things these extremists do? That's right...nowhere. However, they choose to follow literalist, narrow minded, hate mongering interpretations of their own texts. That is the problem with Extremists, they follow black and white thinking instead of understanding the complexities of religion and life in general. Not everything is black and white and not everything is the way the Extremists want it to be. However, something that is easy to do is to put aside your hate by putting yourself in the shoes of the person who disagrees with you and see what they are feeling. I think our modern technology and lifestyles have produced this sense of insensitivity that keeps us apart, then we end up "crashing into each other" at various junctions for better or worse as in the movie "Crash". But, I think there is hope for humanity if we focus on what unites us as Muslims and humans created by a single creator. It must not be forgotten that we as Muslims believe that eveybody and everything is created or "born as a Muslim". So, similar to the Hindu concept of "Namaste" which means "I bow to the divine in you". We as Muslims already have this concept in Islam when we say "Salam Alaykom" or "peace be upon you". This "peace" is that peace of the one and only God that you wish upon your fellow creation of God. We as Muslims must be better in understanding our own faith so that we can better serve our fellow human being. This reminds me of a story of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) where he was sitting with some of his companions (sahaba) and there was Jewish funeral going past him and he stood up in honor of the Jewish person who had passed away. One of his companions who was not well versed yet in Islam asked the Holy Prophet (pbuh) "why do you stand for this dead Jew" and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said "that man is also a creation of Allah". The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had many friends who were Jewish and Christian, however of course there were hostile Pagan, Jewsish and Christian tribes that looked at the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Islam, and Muslims as threats to their social order. The reason why Islam prevailed had to do with the concept of "Social Justice". This same Social Justice demands that we as Muslims Jihad (struggle) against extremism and terrorism so that our fellow creations of God may be able to live a peaceful life. Anytime in Islamic History that Islam was taken into a country by force of Arms has failed. A perfect example is that of Iran or Persia. Iranians did not convert to Islam at the point of a sword, infact only less than 10% of Iranian Zoroastrians converted to Islam after the Arab invasions. The bulk of Persians or Iranians converted to Islam many years after when they actually learned about Islam through peaceful means. The reason again being that of Social Justice. Iranians found in Islam the Social Justice that would free them from both Pagan Arab culture as well as Zoroastrian, Christian, and Jewish Persian culture. Many Iranians lived in a form of caste system that was popular in Pre-Islamic times. The Social Justice of Islam freed them of that form of heirarchy that kept them from advancing in life. But again, none of this could have been possible through violent means. Force without Justice is violence and Justice without force is futile.

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